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Consensus Statement on Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are no longer a looming public health crisis, but a very real one. By working together, and acting now, we can prevent not only oral health damage, but obesity - a leading risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

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Common Problems

Sports Injuries

Sports injuries can be minimized by proper prevention and adequate preparation. As your child gets older, they will start to get involved in various sporting activities.  A good and effective way to protect your child's teeth is to wear a properly fitted, custom made mouthguard. 

The New Zealand Dental Association recommends a good mouthguard should be of sufficient thickness in the correct areas, resilient, well retained, comfortable, and should not interfere with speaking and breathing.

The NZDA recommends the following:

  • always wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports
  • a properly fitted, custom made mouthguard offers the best protection
  • ask your dentist about the best mouthguard for YOU
  • REMEMBER a broken tooth is damaged for LIFE

Dealing with Knocked Out Permanent Teeth

When accidents happen, teeth can sometimes be knocked out completely. Sometimes, they can be put back in by a dentist. Simply follow these injury management tips to reduce the likelihood of any long-term damage.

First make sure that the injured person does not show any signs of head injury, unconsciousness, nausea, persistent headaches, or any other warning signs of a serious injury. Once this is ruled out, see a dentist as quickly as possible. The sooner the tooth or teeth is replanted in its socket, the greater the chance of retaining it for life. 

Steps to follow: 

  1. Find the tooth and hold it by the smooth white part that is usually visible in the mouth -the crown and NOT the root
  2. Do not scrub or rinse the tooth in anything except water or milk
  3. If the tooth is clean, hold it by the crown, and making sure it's the right way round, gently push it into its socket
  4. If it is dirty rinse it in milk, or for not more than a second or two in cold water, and gently push it back into its socket
  5. Hold the tooth in place by biting on a piece of cloth and go to a dentist immediately

If you are not comfortable putting the tooth back in:

  1. Do not let the tooth become dry and don't place it in disinfectant
  2. Either place it in a cup of milk or if milk is not available, keep it in the mouth between the cheeks and gums
  3. Go to the dentist immediately

Please remember this advice is only for managing knocked-out permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is knocked out, do not try to put it back in its socket, as this may damage the unerupted permanent tooth.  Always seek advice and treatment from a dentist.

Mixed Dentition

This is the period when the primary or baby teeth begin to fall out and the permanent teeth start to come through. During this period the jaws grow to make room for the permanent teeth and the roots of the primary teeth begin to be absorbed by the tissue around them. At the same time the permanent teeth under them prepare to come through.

When a primary tooth is lost early before the permanent tooth beneath that is ready to erupt, the nearby tooth may move into that space. This will later make the permanent tooth to erupt out of its position, creating crooked or crowded teeth. Also when a primary tooth does not fall out when it should, it is good to remove them as this may also make the permanent tooth to erupt out of its position. Your dentist or dental therapist can advise you in this.

The first permanent molars usually erupt between 6 and 7 years of age and they do not replace any primary teeth. This erupts at the space next to the back primary teeth. While the first permanent molar should not be mistaken for primary teeth, it is also good to remember that the last set of primary teeth is lost only around 12 years of age. To avoid future problems with permanent teeth make sure that you follow effective home care routine and limit the frequency and amount of sugar intake from foods and drinks.